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Buffalo Bills News - April 22, 2002

Marker Bills' new big gun [6:18 AM]
D and C reports: '''I've been around this team for many years, and this trade is one of the most exciting we've ever made, maybe the most exciting,'' Wilson said.'

Marker Donahoe pulls off a dream deal [6:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'For the first time since 1996 when Jim Kelly retired, the Bills actually have a top-shelf NFL quarterback to guide their offense.'

Marker Bledsoe trade caps a great weekend [6:17 AM]
D and C reports: '"We were ready to go, and it was a significant draft. And it's nice icing on the cake when you can top the weekend off with Drew Bledsoe. Our job has just started, but we think it's a great start."'

Marker Van Pelt has mixed feelings over deal [6:16 AM]
D and C reports: '"I'm disappointed that I won't get the chance to play but I'll do what I can to be prepared and to help him (Bledsoe) be successful," Van Pelt said. "As a backup, you're one play away so I'll prepare myself like I have for the last eight years."'

Marker Drew Bledsoe: Just the facts [6:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bledsoe is New England's all-time leader in completions (2,544), attempts (4,518) and yards (29,657), and he ranks second in TD passes with 166 behind only Steve Grogan (182). Bledsoe also owns the single-game and single-season team marks in completions, attempts and yards.'

Marker Bills marketing plan promotes family image [6:15 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Donahoe, just a little more than year on the job in Buffalo, said that is a leading question among the many letters he receives from fans. Credit the Bills, who are seriously trying to develop and re-develop a stronger fan base, with responding.'

Marker Bledsoe betters Bills [6:14 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'In the end, Tom Donahoe realized he could expend a decade of first-round picks and possibly never come close to drafting a player with Drew Bledsoe's talent.'

Marker Bledsoe is traded to Bills [6:13 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The trading of Bledsoe was the last act of a personal passion play in New England, a story that began as a love affair with a kid from the West Coast and ended as a drama filled with broken promises, angry words (although most of them were mumbled under the breath of the people involved), and the emergence of a second kid from the West Coast who took the Patriots to one of the most unexpected Super Bowl victories in NFL history.'

Marker Patriots get 2003 first-rounder [6:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'It was a bold move to trade Bledsoe to a divisional rival on the upswing. The Bills drafted well, have up-and-coming players, and now have the quarterback they were missing. All of that may diminish the value of the draft pick New England gets.'

Marker Pats deal Bledsoe to Bills [6:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'In Buffalo, Bills officials opened up the box office to accommodate fans who began lining up after news of the trade broke. There was a steady stream of buyers throughout the afternoon.'

Marker Drew gave his all [6:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'There should be no doubt the Patriots kept the better quarterback with the bigger upside and the brighter future.'

Marker No downside to this deal [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Going strictly by on-field performances, the Bills get the edge because they now have a legitimate quarterback around whom to continue their rebuilding. Alex Van Pelt had his moments last year in relief of the ineffective and departed Rob Johnson, but he's hardly a long-term resolution to the passing problem.'

Marker Patriots send Drew to Bills [6:09 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'From a financial standpoint, the Patriots save $1 million this season by trading Bledsoe. But under league rules, the team will still carry $6 million for Bledsoe on this year's approximate $72-million salary cap. Buffalo assumes Bledsoe's contract, a 10-year, $103-million package that was signed March 7, 2001.'

Marker Drew Crew gives way to Bill's Boys [6:08 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Patriots-Bills? Pats fans, welcome to your rivalry of the '00s. Just like Patriots-Jets made this region buzz after Bill Parcells defected in 1997, this is what we're looking at over the next five years.'

Marker Bledsoe deal sparks new debate over veteran QB [6:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Was it the right move?'

Marker All together: 'Thanks, Drew' [6:06 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'In many ways he was the franchise. He was the star quarterback, the most recognizable name, the public face for the Patriots. He was the one player who transcended football around here, the one name everyone in New England knew, even if they didn't know a blitz from a post pattern.'

Marker In the end, persistence paid off [6:05 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Remember this: Patrick Ramsey is the reason this deal finally went down.'

Marker Bledsoe deal gives Bills' fans a reason to rejoice [6:04 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Officials said the box office would be indefinitely open throughout the night because of the large amount of interest the trade has generated.'

Marker Bledsoe is traded to Bills [6:04 AM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'The deal apparently went over well in Buffalo. Even before it was announced, the Bills opened their box office to accommodate fans who heard the trade was imminent. Buffalo, which failed to sell out four of its eight home games last season, drew 504,709 fans last year, the lowest since 1987.'

Marker Drew tapped to fill the bill [6:03 AM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'Drew Bledsoe became a Bill yesterday afternoon because Donahoe, Buffalo's team president and general manager, was more worried about going into next season without the strong-armed former Pro Bowl QB than Belichick was worried about going into training camp with him.'

Marker Bills Meet Pats' Price [6:02 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Bledsoe, who appeared at the early April White House ceremony honoring the Patriots, hasn't talked to Belichick since the season ended.'

Marker Bledsoe Never Lost Dignity [6:01 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Even when he was the star, Bledsoe never publicly criticized his teammates.'

Marker Chatter Box [6:00 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'There is a certain amount of arrogance attached to the Bledsoe trade, otherwise the Patriots would not have dealt him to a division rival. Kraft could have taken less and spared Bledsoe the humiliation of having to revisit Foxboro twice a year for the remainder of his career. Bledsoe will undoubtedly suck it up and take playing the Patriots as an extra special challenge.'

Marker Pats Trade Bledsoe To Division-Rival Bills [5:59 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'In fact, if the Bills are a bad team again, which would be no surprise at all, it will strengthen the defending Super Bowl champs, who after yesterday's trade now own Buffalo's No. 1 pick in 2003, which could easily be in the top five.'

Marker Bills drew draft-day winner [5:58 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The Patriots, willing to trade their former franchise quarterback within the division after all, accepted a No. 1 draft pick in 2003 for Bledsoe, and heavens to Jim Kelly, the Bills are contenders again.'

Marker Pats Trade Bledsoe To Bills for '03 Pick [5:57 AM]
New York Newsday reports: '"We all knew what the situation was," Belichick said of his quarterbacks, Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady. "A football team can have only one starting quarterback."'

Marker Demoted Pro Bowl quarterback traded to Buffalo for first-round pick in 2003 [5:56 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots concluded their draft with what they hope is a case of addition by subtraction. In the process, they strengthened one of their rivals in the AFC East.'

Marker Patriots trade Bledsoe to Bills for pick next year [5:56 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Bledsoe has a $5 million salary this season, $5.5 million in 2003 and $6 million in 2004. On Nov. 1, 2004, the Bills will have to decide whether to pay a $7 million option that triggers the remainder (2005-2010) of the contract.'

Marker UVa's Luzar, Tech's Taylor, Ferguson among Day 2 picks [5:55 AM]
Lynchburg News and Advance reports: '"I knew if I wasn't drafted I would be somewhere as a free agent," said Ferguson, the 251st overall pick. "I really wasn't too worried about it."'

Marker Donahoe, Bills owner help make trade happen [5:54 AM]
ESPN reports: '"There's really a buzz here right now," Donahoe said.'

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